Tag Archives: Health

a little tlc

YOWZAA. I can’t even remember the last time I blogged. Okay, it’s been almost 3 weeks. But, still, it’s been forever! And for that, I can only say that I am sorry. I knew my weeks would be crazy, but not this bad. I guess the good part though, is that I’m back. My last day of work was Monday, and it’s nice to have a little time to myself, and focus on things that need to get done in my life, like a more routine schedule where I can get back in the gym and start meditating more regularly again.

When life gets hectic and chaotic, it’s so easy for me to stop taking care of myself. I get tired and lazy. Eating out becomes more okay in my book. Not doing yoga or exercising or meditating becomes normal. The only things that end up mattering to me are making sure I have some sort of food in my stomach, and sleep. I never realized how hazardous this can become, nor did I realize the tolls it would have on my behavior. Cranky. Extra stressed. Extra emotional. Random bouts of anger.

WHAT IS GOING ON?! Folks this is no joke. This is real life. This is what happens when I stop taking care of myself. Never did I realize how important those little things like working out and doing yoga were in my life. Whenever I tried introspecting or talking it out, all I could figure out was that I just felt really imbalanced, physically, emotionally, and mentally. But I couldn’t put a finger on what was wrong.

It is so incredibly important to take care of yourself. Spend some quality time with you. Give yourself a little TLC. The external world all around is important, but it can easily act as a trigger to cause imbalances in your life. I don’t know the exact science behind it all, but a lot of the way you feel or act is attributed to the internal. It’s not easy honing in on exactly what makes you feel the way you do. But, it’s so important to keep trying.

I always did those things, journaling, meditating, etc because I enjoyed doing them. I felt at peace. But, it was never a thought to me that I actually needed it. It keeps me centered, focused, grounded, three things I can always tell is off in my life. As selfish as it seems, its important to put yourself first at times and take care of you. I think deep down, humans in general are pleasing people. We don’t want to come across as a bad person. And for some, like me, it’s hard for me to say no, even though I know that it’s going equate to less sleep or something. But, how are we going to take care of others if we are not fit to do so?

All I know, is that I am looking forward to a lot of personal time the next few days. How do you spend your personal TLC time?

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floss your teeth

Oh hello there! I know it’s been about a week again. But, I just want to let you all know that today, officially marks the first day of my crazy summer. I work at a summer leadership conference for juniors in high school. It’s a ton of fun, and I love my job, but there is no exaggeration in me saying that I literally come home every night drained after a 10-11 hour work day. So, in advance, I apologize for what will be a slow summer of blog posts.

But, anyways! On to more important and crazier things, like the title of this post. I hope all of my dentist/to-be-dentist friends like this post dedicated to flossing your teeth! I never really got the importance of flossing my teeth until recently. Maybe that officially makes me an adult? Well, whatever it is, I now understand the importance of flossing. I never realized how true the dental care commercials were when they say, “get what brushing leaves behind…”. And let me tell you, its gross. No matter how far back you smash your toothbrush up against the walls of your mouth, and no matter how foamy your toothpaste is, there is still going to be food left in the crevices between your teeth. What’s the solution? Floss.

I began thinking about taking this idea and turning it back onto my life. “Flossing your life” Sounds kind of ridiculous, but the idea started to take shape. I thought about all of the changes I’ve been trying to implement in my life, as well as my progress on the goals I’ve set. A little before my senior year of college, I had made a decision to essentially turn my life 180 and focus my attention on reaching my goal and searching for Truth. Then, this past year, through my encounters and experiences and overall different adventures life had been taking me, I began to pinpoint areas that I wanted to change and things I wanted to do differently.

Of course, all of this requires “taking the trash out”, if you will, of your life. My ideas of trash ranged from something simple to just eating better quality and healthier food, to reading books and articles that are more aligned with my goals, all the way to meditating to literally take the trash out of my mind and purify my mind. But, when I came up with this concept of flossing your life, I began to realize that I need to take care of all the crevices in my life that are still filled with the residue that is just as bad, if not worse, for me. What residue is stuck in the corners of my life?

I haven’t really sat down and actually introspected and thought of an actual list of things that I know need cleaning up, but off the top of my head, I can think of some really simple things that don’t seem like a lot, but can definitely have a negative impact on my life. One of the items that makes my list, is sheer laziness. There are days/times when I don’t feel like doing anything. Let me just sit in my bed and watch Netflix all day long. I try to be as productive as I can on a day-to-day basis, but there are days when I don’t make it. That is the residue. Although it seems minor, each time I choose not to do anything, is time wasted when I could be doing something really great for myself, such as reading a good book, or spending time with the people I love. It’s the accumulation that causes the cavities; same goes to your own life.

Of course, it’s important to stay positive and give your self a pat on the back for the great changes you made in your life, but don’t forget the little stuff. It begins to add up. What other crevices can you think of that could use a little flossing in your life?

Yogi Tea #1: green tea blueberry slim life

Screen shot 2013-05-07 at 10.22.02 PMOkay folks! I have my first tea to blog about! Wahoo. I am so excited! So, the first Yogi Tea I will be blogging about the Green Tea Blueberry Slim Life.

Alright, so this tea serves as a dietary supplement to energize and support a diet program. It is supposed to aid in maintaining an active lifestyle. It is supposed to help with stamina and just overall give you a boost so that you don’t feel tired from your diet.

 

The ingredients for this tea include:

  • Green Tea: green tea is essentially the unfermented version of black tea; it’s packed with a ton of antioxidants (and antioxidants fight the free radicals in your body)
  • Bilberry Leaf aka Huckleberry: fights those free radicals baby
  • Hibiscus Flower: again, hibiscus is packed with antioxidants, but after I did a little research I found out that this plant has been used in different regions of the world for thousands of years to serve different purposes including maintaing a normal body temperature and fluid balance, supporting heart and upper respiratory health, and regulating bowel movement and urination.
  • Green Tea Leaf Extract: see Green Tea
  • Ginseng and Eleuthero Root Extract: promotes long term stamina
  • Amla Fruit aka Indian Gooseberry: amla is a superfruit in Ayurveda; it’s packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants. Not only that, but amlas are great for your skin and hair (one of the reasons I regularly put amla juice in my hair when I was in India). It also helps with digestive function…literally a superfruit
  • Belleric Myrobalan Fruit (Bibhitaki): another superfruit in Ayurveda folks! Bibhitaki is known to support digestion, water balance, and the urinary and respiratory tracts
  • Chebulic Myrobalan Fruit (Haritaki): haritaki is great for detox as it cleanses your GI tract. It supports digestion and elimination, and is referred to as “the king of herbs” in Tibetan medicine.
  • Garcinia Cambogia Fruit: great for stamina
  • Stevia Leaf: used as a natural sweetener for this tea

So, all of the herbs that are used for stamina are going to be the energy providers. The herbs that support digestion and elimination and cleansing are also key. A good digestive tract is key no matter who you are. It keeps you going, and will help you from feeling sluggish. Am I personally on a serious diet? No, not really. I am tracking my caloric intake on the “Myfitnesspal” app on my phone. But, generally I’m just trying to have a healthier diet all together (guys, today I turned down the invitation to go to Taco Bell for lunch. that never happens).

As far as feeling the effects of energy and stamina, to be completely honest, I forgot some days to really observe how I’m feeling during and after drinking the tea. But, the days I do remember, I remember feeling a burst of energy a little while after finishing my cup. The other issue comes in, is that usually I drink my tea in the morning, and I am naturally a morning person. And finally, the box suggests you drink the tea throughout the day, but I really only had one cup a day. Either way, I definitely did feel the effects of the energy and felt more alive, for lack of better words.

For taste, I give it a 10 out of 10 with a little honey added to it, and without the honey, I give it a 7.5 out of 10.

Definitely go out and grab a box of this. See if it helps supplement your diet program, or if you just want a tasty tea, this one is great.
Up next: Berry DeTox

 

References:
www.yogiproducts.com, www.banyanbotanicals.com, www.gaiaherbs.com, www.care2.com

strengthen your mind

“No matter how healthy, intelligent or affluent we may be, if our minds are weak, then our happiness will also be frail and brittle. Our minds of faith, moreover, enable us to bring out the full potential in all things and situations, so it is crucial that we strive to forge our minds of faith.”  Daisaku Ikeda

The point of this blog is to let you in on my life and my thoughts and my experiences as I travel down this path of spirituality and my desire to seek Truth. Despite all of these great experiences and adventures I’ve been having, I forget my purpose and fall back in to the daily routine of life which includes home and work. 

This daily encouragement could not have come at a better time. I’ve been slacking on my meditation–a tool that I believe is one of the best ways to sharpen and strengthen your mind. I can’t say this is true or not, but to me the mind is a path to your soul, and your soul is the seat of your inner truth. Our mind is such a powerful, yet such an underused instrument in our lives. I forget this, and when I forget I begin to slack. Time to get back on a routine that involves meditation. Funny how these reminders come at exactly the time you need it the most. For me? I’m about to start a very stressful and anxiety-ridden couple months. I need my mind to be on point 24/7. Meditation time folks. Gotta get back in touch with myself. 

5 ways to live simply

“It is exhilarating to be reminded here that the real meaning of simplicity is singling out what is worth living for, and then shaping our lives around what matters and letting go of everything else.” Eknath Easwaran

When I first started thinking of resolutions for the new year, habits that I wanted to instill, routines I wanted to make a part of my life, one of the first things that popped into my head was that I really want to live as much of a natural and organic lifestyle as possible. However, I didn’t really have a game plan to take on this challenge. I told myself I’d eat healthier and use reusable shopping bags as much as possible. Little did I know that living a natural life encompassed a lot more than just using reusable shopping bags.

Luckily as the year went on, I’ve had many an opportunity to learn more about living a natural life. I’ve met some pretty awesome people, and had conversations about living a simpler life, a no-impact life, a raw life, etc. The more I heard these words come up, the more I started to do research and reconfigure my idea of a “natural and organic life”.

I don’t think my answer was completely finished until I read the book Discovering Your Hidden Spiritual Resources by Eknath Easwaran. He has an entire chapter on living a simple life. I finally got it.

Living simply is more than just an external way of life; it starts with an internal attitude and a fresh perspective. I realized that I’m going to have to do a whole lot more than just eat organic and use reusable shopping bags. A simple life to me is about not being attached to all the things we surround ourselves with. Absolutely use all of the technological devices you have sitting around your house, but realize that at the end of the day that those things don’t define your status, they don’t define your well-being, and most importantly they don’t define you. Living simply is about having a positive outlook on life. There’s no point in wasting your time focusing in on the bad stuff that’s going around. In a simple life, the goal is to let go of our own egos, and begin to act and think from a place of pure love and compassion. Pay attention to the creations of this Earth. Eat healthy, use reusable shopping bags, love your friends and family, walk instead of drive—all of this is living simply.

Here are 5 easy ways to start living a simpler life:

  • Eat dinner at home. Make dinner at home and turn it into a family production. This way, you’re spending good, quality time with your loved ones, you are cooking yourself so you know exactly what’s going into your food (made at home meals tend to be a lot healthier than meals we eat at restaurants), and you’re not using your car.
  • Go for a walk. Spend time with Mother Nature, and take in the beauty this world has to offer. If you can, try to walk or use your bike instead of driving your car. This way, you’re getting exercise, and you start to appreciate the little beauties.
  • Volunteer. Giving back to the community that we live in is such a simple and easy way to show our gratefulness. It is also a great reminder to count our own blessings.
  • Recycle! Have you ever wondered what the Earth is going to look like in 20, 50, 100 years? Sometimes I’m scared to think about it. We have become so harsh to the planet that provides so much to us. Let’s start living a gentler life, and help Mother Earth as much as possible. Just think, our great, great, great, great grandchildren should be able to reap the benefits of this home as much as we do!
  • Meditate, Introspect, Journal. Okay, this is technically a 3-in-1, but they all do similar things, and that’s helping us get in touch with our true selves. When we spend a little time with ourselves, without distraction, we begin to dig deeper. We start to realize who we really are and what makes us, us. Give yourself a little self-love every now and then. We are all beautiful beings.

shouldering burdens

I made it back to one of my favorite teacher’s yoga class yesterday (my work schedule is so ridiculous, that this is like the best thing that’s happened to me…getting off on a Saturday morning!). I was already pretty sore from my yoga session Friday, but I wanted to go, because Amy really incorporates the spiritual aspect of yoga into her vinyasa flows and I absolutely love it.

Friday, we did a ton of shoulder/upper arm asanas, and focused more on that. To my somewhat displeasure, we again, did a lot of shoulder/upper arm asanas today as well. It seriously was really difficult to get through. But, somehow or another, I did. And it was awesome.

But, this isn’t the point of this post. We started off class just standing in mountain pose and practicing some intentional breathing. The instructor started talking about intention, and what brought us to class that day. She continued to talk about a book she is reading about how mental symptoms manifest into physical symptoms. She was focusing in on the shoulders and how we carry all of our burdens in our shoulders. You can almost tell when someone is overwhelmed by their burdens, or whose ever burdens he/she is carrying, by how their shoulders are at a resting state–they are almost always rolled forward. This unintentionally brings a slouch to your back.

I never really thought of this before. I began to think about it as she was talking about shoulders rolled forward, and I realized that mine were definitely rolled forward. Go ahead and see for yourself. Are your shoulders rolled forward? If they are, roll them back. See what happens. I immediately rolled them back, which automatically opened my chest up and lifted my chin. Amazing. Something as simple as that brought a little bit more physical confidence in my appearance. Incredible.

The book that she was reading is called You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. In the book, the author has different mantras that you say for different physical symptoms. Amy began to read the mantra for shoulders as we were huffing and puffing practicing our intentional breathing and ujayi breathing. She began to tell us that in the book that when people have rolled shoulders it means they feel like they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. I thought, there are definitely times when I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. I consistently want to please everyone around me, I willingly bring that pressure upon myself. Does this happen to you guys ever?

Louise Hay’s mantra for the shoulders was kind of long, but I found this one line excerpt from it. “I choose to allow all of my experiences to be joyous and loving.” I think this is a very powerful affirmation to tell yourself on a regular basis. I don’t think we realize that when we don’t take even 2 minutes to focus on our own mental and physical health, how it begins to show physically. I choose to allow all of my experiences to be joyous and loving. There is no one out there in this world, in my life, that is telling me, “Nishita, you must be miserable and stressed and overwhelmed all the time.” No one. I’ve created this reality in my head that tells me I should be in a constant state of frenzy. I choose to allow all of my experiences to be joyous and loving. 

It’s hard to admit to yourself that the way you feel isn’t because of anyone else except yourself. But, I think once we realize this we can begin make our lives a little bit less miserable, and a lot more exciting and joyous.

This week, I’m going to think about my intention in every thing I do, the same way Amy makes me think about my intention every time I walk into her class. What’s your intention going to be this week? I am choosing to allow all of my experiences to be joyous and loving!

ps. This book is definitely on my list of books to read now. Have any of you read it?

my 6am yoga class

Y’all, I finally did it. I made it to the 6am yoga class I’d been telling myself I’d go to since I’ve been back from India. I set my alarm for 5am, and as soon as it beeped, I turned it off. I argued with myself (yes, this actually happens), saying that I’ll just go and workout after I get off work. I wake up 10 minutes later, look at the time on my phone, and grudgingly get out of bed.

I realized I had been telling myself excuses out of sheer laziness. How pathetic?! So, I sucked it up, changed out of my pjs (okay, all I really changed were my pants…into my yoga pants), and hopped in my car to the gym. I even got there 20 minutes before class was going to start. Awesome.

Seriously though, I realized that I have been missing out. Getting up that early and starting my day with a good vinyasa flow has made all the difference in today. I was a huge ball of energy the rest of the day. Also, I’ve noticed that when I start my days with something like yoga or meditation (or both!), I’m more aware of what’s going on during the rest of the day. I also make healthier choices and am more cognizant of what’s going on, my options, etc. For example, when I came home, I decided to make a fruit and veggie packed smoothie for breakfast (which was so delicious, I’ll post the recipe!) instead of skipping out on breakfast all together.

The way you start your day really does make a huge difference as to how the rest of your day is going to be, and I finally experienced that today. Waking up early, will also help me go to bed earlier too, so I’m not staying up, or waking up in the middle of the night. It’s all about regulating our internal clocks and stuff folks!

I’ve been reading a lot about how a morning ritual that involves a slow, every-day routine is really good for you in general. Instead of immediately hopping out of bed in a frantic, thinking about everything that needs to get done, you should wake up and be aware of the present. Focus on yourself. When I say the word ritual, I don’t mean something mundane where you wake up, shower, make coffee, eat, and leave. I mean, make it something meaningful. Journal the minute you wake up, meditate for 20 minutes before you leave the house, sit in a room filled with candles and do 10 minutes of intentional breathing, read an inspirational quote to start your day. The options are endless! By the time you leave the house, you’ll be refreshed and ready to take on the day.

Mornings are usually when I’m the most tired (except for at night around 11pm). But, I am going to make the effort to start having amazing, intentional mornings. I’m telling you. One experience, and your whole life is changed. Try it out!

just keep your heart open

In the beginning of February (it’s really weird to say that by the way, considering that this Friday will be March 1), I went to an Ayurveda seminar in New Mexico on spiritual healing through Vedic rituals. There was a lot I came back with after that weekend, and I could literally go on for a few posts about it. But that’s not what I want to do in this particular post.

In one of the first few sessions we had, Dr. Lad said something that caught my attention. And the reason I’m bringing it up now, is because I was going through my notes, and I saw it written down and underlined, highlighted, all caps, whatever, and it re-caught my attention, and brought back the things I was feeling and thinking at that moment.

“JUST KEEP YOUR HEART OPEN” (not read in a scream-like way, but in the sweetest, old man, loving, and sincere way). And, something about this just really resonated in me. I feel as though this journey I’m taking in life can be perfectly summed up into these 5 words. Everything that I’ve been experiencing these past 10-11, maybe even more, months was perfectly stated in these 5 words. It was as though these words, “just keep your heart open”, were meant for my ears, and quite seriously, my heart.

I can’t recall right now, any other sets of words that have moved me so much, that have really hit a chord for me. Just keep your heart open.

Just keep your heart open, and let the love that surrounds you to fill you. Let the positivity of this universe permeate your being, your essence. Just keep your heart open.

Just keep your heart open and let life happen. Don’t worry about the past or future, just be. Let your faith in whatever you have faith in take over, and truly surrender yourself to the will of the Ultimate.

It’s so hard to do just that though. To not keep a guard up, to not worry, to not micro and macro manage. For me it is at least. I have a problem with living in the moment. I have a problem of worrying too much, of trying to control everything in my life. But, I’m becoming more confident in myself and braver in who I am to witness these things happening, and not be ashamed or scared.

I feel as though you can truly live life to its fullest if we understand this idea of keeping our heart open. Be a lover, a dreamer, a well-wisher, a believer, and just keep your heart open. I think I’ve found my new mantra.

relationships

One of the most important things that goes on in India is visiting family. I haven’t seen a lot of them in 7 years, and a lot of family I’m meeting for the first time! I really didn’t realize how big my family was, until I for real thought about it, while I was at my mom’s mom’s house in the village. There were new relationships and connections with my family every day. It was pretty cool, and way more than I can remember

I started thinking about all of the relationships I have in my life: friendships, personal relationships, family, co-workers, my relationship with my community, and yes, even my Facebook friends. Each one of those relationships play a very crucial role in my spiritual development.

A real relationship is where you are really truly developing into a better version of yourself, ultimately bringing you closer to the Ultimate. Just recently, my best friend and I were talking about how after our friendship rekindled essentially, we’ve been more confident in ourselves, are more optimistic, and are really just happier. This is what a true relationship is about. I think to my friends from college, Bridge Builders, youth camp, whatever situation, and how blessed I am to have found people in whom I can grow closer with the Supreme.

“The true soulmates, those who are really meant for you, they always show up, at the right time, and at the right places. You can’t search for these friendships, they just happen. A real friendship consists of more than social exchange and emotional support. In a real friendship, one plus one always exceeds two. Such friendships need hard work. You can’t plan on coming across such friends; you have to leave the start of such friendships to the chances”

This quote is from a book I just finished reading, “The Alchemy of Well-Being” by Indrajit Garai, and I think it sums up pretty well the essence of a relationship. People come into your life at exactly the right time, when you need them the most. And if they leave, then they’ve played the part they need to make you a better person. This last part is sometimes hard for me to grasp and understand. Why do friendships end? Why do I stop talking to people I once was so close to? Everyone who you cross paths with has a role they play in your life, whether it be to be your best friend, hurt you so that you are able to learn from the experience later on, encourage you to achieve your ultimate goal, to love, whatever. But, not everyone is meant to stay in our life forever. We can learn something about who we are from each encounter.

A relationship should be a mirror reflecting the image of who you really are, and helping you turn your flaws into perfections. Something that I’ve begun to think about is if I’m being a true good friend to those around me. I’m glad that I have so many relationships that really reflect the person I am, and friends who have my back, encourage me in all that I want to accomplish, and tell me when I’m being unrealistic or just dumb.

So, whoever you consider family or friend, love that person/group. They’re here for your personal growth!

“In a real friendship, one plus one always exceeds two.”

Countdown to America: 13 days

routine life

My granddad (dad’s dad) just celebrated his 83rd birthday during Diwali. I really admire him. For a good majority of his working career, he would ride his bicycle to and from work, and work at least 10 hour shifts 6 days a week. Talk about a “when I was your age” story. So, at 83 years old, I’m sure anyone can imagine, that someone is going to be pretty stuck in their ways and routines. The first few weeks I was here, I was really astonished at the fact that he would easily wake up at 4, 5 in the morning. Naturally, my grandma would yell at him and tell that’s entirely too early to be getting up and making a ruckus in the house. So, now of course, he wakes up at a little later…at 6:30 am (this is a struggle for me regardless).

His routine is pretty perfect and to the tee. He wakes up at 6:30. Makes a cup of tea for himself. Waits for the milkman (yes, a milkman still comes to the house to give you milk here). After the milkman has come, he sits on our swing and reads the paper (but only the headlines, because the other print is too small for him to read). Then, when everyone else wakes up around 7:30/8:00, it’s round 2 of tea. And by 9:00am, he’s showered, gotten ready for the day, morning prayers completed, and is sitting quietly on the swing. And that’s his routine. Every morning.

I began to think of my “morning route”, and realized it’s so willy nilly, and very dependent on what I have going on for the day. Whereas my gdad, no matter what’s going on, his routine is stable. If I have yoga, I wake up at maybe, 6:30, sometimes 6:55 (for my 7am class that is). If I don’t, hello 9:00am! Sometimes I eat breakfast, sometimes I don’t. Basically, it’s so irregular. And sometimes, I’m just too lazy where I don’t even do my morning prayers or make time for meditating. What’s wrong with me? Will it take me another 60 years to reach the same place my granddaddy is at? Why am I so situation-dependent?

I don’t have an answer to this question. But, I know it takes constant effort. I mean, seriously, how good are we at keeping our New Year’s Resolutions? (If you’ve figured out the secrets, share them here!) It’s really hard to live a stable life. But, I do know that some sort of routine is good for a healthy life. I mean, my gdad, he’s 83 with not a single health problem. He’s doin’ something right.

Do you have a daily routine that yo follow no matter what the situation is?